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Guests Enjoy House And Garden Treasures During Historical Society Fundraiser



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Shimmering with bees' movements from bloom to bloom on Sunday, June 25, was a tidy lavender garden splashed throughout with orange poppy petals. The perennials are nestled in a patch behind 27 Main Street, where homeowner Maureen Rohmer strolled toward the plantings at her 1787 home.

Opened to the public that day was the broad lawn filled with gardens, shrubs, climbing wisteria, and a renovated "she shed" with cut flowers and a sitting area. Ms Rohmer's was just one of several homes and/or gardens welcoming guests during the Newtown Historical Society's Annual Homes & Gardens Tour. Ticket sales benefited the historical society.

Also noticing the many bees, Ms Rohmer said, "I pick the lavender and dry it to make bouquets, and I can pick it with them." The bees continue their business undisturbed, she said.

Ms Rohmer moved to the Main Street address in 1985, and pointed to one original shade garden, which was flourishing more than 30 years ago.

"We worked on [other gardens] gradually," she said.

Pausing near the lavender was Jolene Isdale who loved the colors, "and everything here. It's ethereal."

Docents Liz Arneth and Arline Shanley steered visitors to the barn, reminding them to "look up," to see hand hewn antique wooden beams.

Docent Peggy Townsend answered the front door at 61 Brushy Hill Road, another property included on this year's tour. She offered guests a quick introduction to the 1738 saltbox, which originally stood in Middletown, but was relocated to Newtown "brick by brick, beam by beam," in 1990, she said.

The beams, windows, and floors are all original, she said. Pointing to one unique feature, Ms Townsend noted a clock hanging in the living room, built in Ansonia in 1863. The piece is an early alarm clock with a mechanism in the center that will trigger the alarm at a certain hour.

Entering the back of the house was Carol Adams, who turned the corner to stand near a floor-to-ceiling fireplace and stone hearth. Much like The Matthew Curtiss House, which serves as the headquarters for the town's historical society, the rooms of 61 Brushy Hill Road surround a central fireplace, and include both a front and rear stairway to the second floor.

Sitting along a quiet and windy part of Boggs Hill Road was another antique home open to ticket holders this year. Sitting behind a lichen-covered wooden fence, the gate at 159 Boggs Hill Road swung open on Sunday. Guests stepped between two hydrangea shrubs along a fieldstone path toward the front door.

Entering the weathered brick façade, guests stood in the original home, but past the hallway, parlor and dining room is the original back exterior wall, which is where a spacious addition begins. Added to the 1783 building is a 2001 addition, which more than doubled the home's footprint.

Homeowners William and Erica Barber have been in the house since 2008, according the William's father, Bill Barber, who spoke with guests Sunday. Past the rear patio sprawled more than two acres dotted with garden beds of peonies, daffodils, hostas, salvia, lavender, iris, sedum, daylilies, daisies, hydrangea, and more.

Also on the tour were two properties on Taunton Lake Road, and one each on Mt Pleasant Road, Shephard Hill, and Sweet Meadow Road.

A lush lavender and poppy patch site in the sun behind Maureen Rohmer's 1787 home at 27 Main Street. Ms Rohmer's was one of the properties included in this year's Newtown Historical Society House & Garden Tour, presented Sunday, June 25.(Bee Photo, Bobowick
Carol Adams admires the large kitchen fireplace at 61 Brushy Hill Road.(Bee Photo, Bobowick
Unusual for 1783 is the brick facade of the original section of this house on Boggs Hill Road, where guests visited the house and rear gardens on Sunday, June 25.(Bee Photo, Bobowick)
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